December 15, 2023 | By Sikh Siyasat Bureau
Ottawa, Canada: World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO) President, Danish Singh has written to Justice Marie-Josée Hogue, Commissioner of the Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions, calling on the Inquiry to examine the role of Indian interference in Canada.
The call comes in the aftermath of several news articles exposing the extent of Indian interference in the leadership and nomination process of parties in Canada and the electoral process more broadly.
The text of the letter is below:
Justice Marie-Josée Hogue
Public Inquiry into Foreign Interference in Federal Electoral Processes and Democratic Institutions
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Re: Examining the Role of Indian Interference in Canada
Dear Justice Marie-Josée Hogue,
We are writing to bring to your attention the urgent need to examine the role of Indian interference in the 43rd and 44th general elections in Canada, held in 2019 and 2021, respectively. Recent reports have revealed that India has engaged in foreign interference in Canada, including interference in the leadership and nomination processes of parties and the electoral process more broadly.
The Commission is tasked to “examine and assess interference by China, Russia and other foreign states or non-state actors, including any potential impacts, in order to confirm the integrity of, and any impacts on, the 43rd and 44th general elections at the national and electoral district levels.”
Although India is not expressly named in the terms of reference of the Inquiry, the purview to examine the role of “other foreign states” opens the door to examining India’s role. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s National Security Adviser Jody Thomas has said that India is among the top sources of foreign interference in Canada. Since Prime Minister Trudeau’s statement in Parliament on September 18, 2023 that agents of the Government of India are suspected to have been involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, there has been increasing scrutiny on India’s interference in Canada, including in the electoral process.
In a report published recently in the online news platform “The Bureau”, it has been reported that “India uses proxies to corrupt Canadian politicians” and that a proxy agent of the Government of India has been active to keep pro-Indian politicians in office and “bond with newly elected politicians”.
In an earlier report published by Global News in April 2020, it was alleged that “India’s two main intelligence branches had asked an Indian citizen to sway politicians in this country into supporting Indian government interests.”
We believe it is crucial to ensure the integrity of our democratic processes and the public has a right to know what role external actors, such as the Government of India played in influencing electoral outcomes at both the national and electoral district levels. The reported involvement of India in Canada’s electoral system raises serious questions that must be examined and answered.
If our organization can be of any assistance in the endeavours of the Inquiry and examining the role of Indian interference in Canada, please do not hesitate to be in touch with us.
World Sikh Organization of Canada
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